End of A Cartoon Era

The era was “B.C.” and the man behind it was Johnny Hart, an Upstate New York artist who admired Charles Schulz’s creation, “Peanuts,” and decided to give the daily comic strip business a try.

That was in 1958. Hart was drawing what turned out to be his last strip on Saturday at home near Endicott, when he suffered a fatal stroke at age 76. His family says “B.C.” will continue under their supervision, based on the five decades’ worth of drawings Hart produced.

Johnny Hart came under criticism, when he turned the comic strip into a Christian pulpit at religious holiday time. People of other faiths sometimes took offense; he said they misunderstood his message.

But most of the time, Hart went for laughs- or at least a wry chuckle- and hit the mark more often than not. Here’s today’s “B.C.”

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One of the final strips, in 49 years of work that put Johnny Hart in 1,300 newspapers with an audience of 100 million people. In any era, those are impressive statistics. Read more about him here.

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